Erika and Achim Ginsberg-Klemmt, SY
Bantschowstrasse 2, 22391 Hamburg, Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Marquises, February 3, 1999
German Embassy to France
Herrn Dr.Goldschmidt, Botschaftsrat I Klasse
Leiter des Rechts- und Konsularreferats
Gz.:RK 516 SE Ginsberg-Klemmt/99
Dear Herr Dr. Goldschmidt,
My husband and I have been sorry not to hear from the German Embassy via Email, since this is our primary source of correspondence. Perhaps the Embassy is not yet accustomed to this form of communication, but we find it very practical and timely. In comparison, a letter with computer diskettes arrived by mail in Germany over one month after we sent it.
I felt a need to inform you of my conversation with Madame Weinmann in Tahiti today. We called her to follow up on the latest advancements of our case. Just as we had feared, Herr Dr. Goldschmidt, Madame Weinmann will only be helpful in going around and around in circles. She assured us she will contact the DRCL to verify the exact procedure for European non-French tourists admitted to Polynesia. Thanks, but we've already done that! That is also precisely what she did for Mr. and Madame Helesic in 1996. Why else would we have began this litigation with the French Polynesian authorities? It's already been proven that a European citizen entered French Polynesia and fought bond, visa and carte de séjour on terms of European reciprocal rights, and HE WON. (please see our previous letters). Madame Weinmann will simply repeat to us the same vague answers we have already gotten from the Gendarmerie here.
My husband, Mr. and Madame Helesic and I have ALL been disappointed with the lack of support we have received from our so-called German (French!) consulate in Papeete. I must recount to you three of Madame Weinmann's most shocking statements to me:
"Je suis honoraire, je ne suis pas payé pour mon travail, seulement pour mes frais, environ XX,000 FF par X mois."
First off, I never asked her how much she was paid or even if she were paid; she was the one who offered this information to me. Whether an officer is paid or not should make little difference in her activities. Or is it simply that, since she's not paid a salary, she has license to act as she pleases? Secondly, the amount she said she receives for all her hard working expenses was, incidentally, remarkably high. If she only got the job by speaking German, vielleicht wäre ich dann besser als sie für diese Aufgabe geeignet. But good luck getting a non-French citizen, even as a diplomat, to work in French Polynesia!
"Les français ne sont pas privilégié ici; ils sont chez eux ici."
This isn't the first time I have heard this statement, although I hardly expected it from the mouth of my representative here. When it comes to the struggle we have had, one hears two messages:
- this is an entirely independent territoire d'outre mer with their own laws,
- this is, in fact, France and the French are at home here.
I'm really tired of being lectured on the difference between a department and a territory, then in the same breath being told that the French are at home here, not any other Europeans. She didn't seem to understand the hypocrisy and I'm not sure if she's even aware of the EEC or the amount of funds that the FED puts into French Polynesia.
"Je ne suis pas ici pour defendre les intérêts des allemands."
Herr Dr. Goldschmidt, this is where I had to end my conversation with Madame Weinmann. If she is not there in the interest of German people, why is she your honorary consulate? To get free flights back to le metropole?
In my diplomatic relations encyclopedia, it states that:
Consular officers aid their country's citizens when they travel on business or as tourists....
I don't feel that Madame Weinmann sees Germany as "her" country de toute manière, as she stated herself. We contacted our consulate in Tahiti for support, not for more bureaucratic skirting of the issue. French Polynesia CAN NO LONGER maintain its membership in the European community (as French citizens) whilst counting on privileged special treatment.
Please also find enclosed a letter we recently sent to the Haut Commissaire Monsieur Jean Aribaud and an open letter sent to the President of French Polynesia, Monsieur Gaston Flosse.
We look forward to hearing your educated take on the issue.
Erika M. Ginsberg-Klemmt
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